John Joseph Adams here, editor of the new zombie anthology The Living Dead 2. It is with great pleasure that I present this selection from the book, “Good People” by David Wellington, to the readers of Tor.com.
David Wellington is the author of the zombie novels Monster Island, Monster Nation, and Monster Planet, and the vampire novels 13 Bullets, 99 Coffins, Vampire Zero, and 23 Hours. A werewolf novel, Frostbite, came out last October. Another zombie novel, Plague Zone, was serialized on his website, davidwellington.net, but is not yet in print. Wellington’s short fiction has appeared in the zombie anthologies The Undead, The Undead 2: Skin and Bones, and The New Dead, and in my vampire anthology By Blood We Live. He recently made his comic book writing debut with Marvel Zombies Return.
George Romero’s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead established our modern image of zombies—mindless corpses with pale flesh, wild hair, and dark-ringed eyes who stumble clumsily about, hungering after the flesh of the living. Since then we’ve seen a vast proliferation of zombie stories and a corresponding increase in their variety. We’ve seen zombies who aren’t technically dead (28 Days Later), zombies who sprint after their victims (Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead), zombie dogs (Resident Evil), zombie Nazis (Dead Snow), zombie superheroes (Marvel Zombies), even zombie strippers (Zombie Strippers). We’ve also seen zombie comedy (Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland), zombie romance (Amelia Beamer’s The Loving Dead), and even zombies invading classic nineteenth-century literature (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). And of course we’ve seen David Wellington’s gonzo Monster trilogy, which features smart zombies, superpowers, mummies, and an epic battle for the future of humanity.
But sometimes all you’re in the mood for are some good old-fashioned moaning, shambling zombies, which our next story delivers—in spades. Here David Wellington takes the zombie story back to its roots—a bunch of regular folks just trying to survive, figuring out what they’re willing to do to make it, and the horrible things they have to do after the end of the world. After all the variations, parodies, and mashups, the classic Romero-style zombie is still alive and well (so to speak) and still, after all these years, coming to get you.
I hope you enjoy the story, and if you do, I hope you’ll check out the whole anthology, which features 45 stories in all, including work from zombie legends Max Brooks, Robert Kirkman, Brian Keene, and Jonathan Maberry. Learn more (and read 8 more free stories!) at johnjosephadams.com/the-living-dead-2. You can also check out my interview with David Wellington, in which we discuss “Good People,” here.
John Joseph Adams (www.johnjosephadams.com) is the bestselling editor of many anthologies, such as Wastelands, The Living Dead (a World Fantasy Award finalist), The Living Dead 2, By Blood We Live, Federations, and The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Barnes & Noble.com named him “the reigning king of the anthology world,” and his books have been named to numerous best of the year lists. He is also the fiction editor of the science fiction magazine Lightspeed, and is the co-host of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.